‘Slime’ Ingredient Probed in Kids’ Burns

The worldwide schoolkid fad of homemade “Slime” is prompting concerns from parents who claim one ingredient—the cleaning product Borax—may be causing severe burns to their children with prolonged exposure. Recipes for the puttylike substance—a staple of kids’ science websites—tell young makers to mix water, Elmer’s Glue, and sodium borate (or Borax)—a naturally occuring mineral that can be used as a stain remover and insecticide, among other things. However, in a few publicized cases, children are reported to have suffered second- and even third-degree burns from playing with “Slime” over several months. Google searches for “slime” have climbed steadily in the past 12 months; Elmer’s Glue cited a jump in sales in 2016 “due in large part to Slime mania.” Still, Kyran Quinlan, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention, said Borax is considered “generally safe.”